Disclaimer – This post comes from an author whose knowledge of the language isn’t expert. Although I could understand most of what was going on-screen, I did find it a little difficult to catch up with some of the dialogues. So, my review is purely based on my approval and liking of the concept & narration, performances and other production values.
Also, since im gushing about the film, I might accidentally mention off some spoilers to make my point. Pleej excuse!!
‘LOVE’ possibly the most misused word. How do you define love? When do you realize you have fallen in love or out of it? Different insights, definitions, interpretations, but the most widely felt an emotion that can’t be explained. Those in love will preach the same to everyone, those who haven’t been through the feeling will shove it away as insanity. Cards, flowers, gifts, however cliché the ideas and ways of love are, they are still adopted with glee & Valentines is supposedly the highest selling day for retailers. What happens when someone challenges these notions, and attempts to break the shackles of cheesy displays of affection, Is it well accepted by the partner/by people around/loved ones? What does it take to keep love going between two individuals? All this and some more Facebook-age practical love fundas form Bhaskar’s ORANGE – An ‘O’ Range love story
Sydney based Ram (Ram Charan Tej), loves to live his life on his own terms. Be it his sister’s (Manjula) exasperation towards his smoking habits or the fact that his passion (‘naa praan’ as he likes to put it) is graffiti which is considered a crime; he isn’t willing to change his lifestyle or be pretentious for anything or anyone. One quick glance at Jaanu (Genelia), he falls head over heels over her exuberance & innocence. Over the next couple of reels, Ram chases Jaanu over gorgeous Australian backdrops, and soon Jaanu reciprocates his feelings. Almost immediately there is a clash of beliefs. Ram loves Jaanu, he knows that and he isn’t afraid to show it. What he disapproves off is stamping any relationship with an expiry date. He lives by the moment and prefers taking it one-step-at-a-time. (There is a very well put flashback incident in place to rationalize his behaviour) Jaanu completely opposes this philosophy & refuses to believe that relationships aren’t for keeps. The rest of the movie is how Ram and Jaanu advocate their perspectives to each other.
I’ll start off with the easiest that is the performances. Anyone reading this review and is close to RCT, please do give him a huge hug from me. As Ram, Charan is marvelous in every frame. Be it as the adventure-obsessed artist, or as the simpleton preaching honesty in relationships, or as the ‘world’s greatest lover’, he is quirky, charming and a viewers delight. He puts in loads of confidence and conviction to his act, almost as if he is living the character. On the minus, he should work a bit on his facial expressions (loosen up a bit) and his dialogue delivery could be stronger. Genelia as Jaanu works terrifically for me. Her hyperactively cute persona does initially come across as Bommarillu take-2 but post her transformation when she begins self introspection; she embraces the camera extremely well & maintains a stand of her own. (Though she does look tired, I’ll just blame it on the stress her character is going through). Shazahn Padamsee in her small but pivotal role looks gorgeous but can’t be applauded for putting in a credible act. Maybe it’s her unfamiliarity with the language (I haven’t seen Rocket Singh), but she looks uncomfortable.
The film is further smartly propped by other interesting acts by PrakashRaj, Prabhu, Manjula, Brahmanandam, Vennela Kishore who lend credible support to the proceedings.
‘ORANGE’ keeps you engaged right from the start. As an audience, you are well introduced and kept in loop with the characters, their surroundings (key ingredient), their stories, their changing patterns, which helps connect and cherish the movie as a whole. Bhaskar does a fantastic job in crystal clear sketching of characters and story. He knows what he wants, how he wants and even though he is aware of the delicate topic of emotions of love that he is dealing with, he isn’t shy to expose its madness to the audience. His understanding of situations and human behavior that he puts across is spot on. His USP lies in his directness of demonstrating the philosophy that - Making your loved one do something they are hesitant about but goes on to make them happy is the correct thing to do, but making them do something which brings them pain, is unfair. Highlight of the film is that every action is followed by an equally logical and impactful reaction. Case in point – Scene 1: Genelia’s excitement after the lion episode. Scene 2: RCT pointing out Genelia’s sulked face because of their arguments. These are the simple scenes/dialogues which Bhaskar used effectively to show that Love or acts of Love are supposed to bring happiness, not misery in someone’s life. This goes on to show the brilliance, attention to detail and persistence of the director. Total Win!
There is a saying (song?) in a bollywood movie that goes ‘Koi tum ko badal ke pyar kare, toh woh pyar nahin woh sauda kare, aur sahiba pyar mein sauda nahin hota’ (lost in translation: If someone loves you by changing you, it isn’t love, it’s a trade. And love isn’t a business (trade)). Every relationship has a thin line between compromise and sacrifice. Compromises in any relationship are given, sacrifices suffocate the bond in due time. Through Orange, Bhaskar skillfully asserts just that.
Including direction, all other aspects and technical attributes scored well. Visually stunning cinematography convinced me to add Australia to my must-visit places list. Rooba Rooba still refuses to leave my mind, and that it features mera shehar Mumbai makes it extra special. My introduction to Harris’s music was with Ayan which plays regularly on my player and Im delighted that he has one more album I can easily tag as my favourite.
Overall, except for the rushed climax, (which is trivial compared to the wins) there isn’t any aspect of the movie that disappointed. It’s been five hours since I walked out of the theatre, yet the scenes, sequences, laughter, and crowd’s reactions are still fresh in my mind. That says a lot about this movie and it undoubtedly makes it to my ‘recommended’ category. Now can’t wait to get my hands on the DVD!